Interesting! We're guessing inclusive is also a nice way of saying affordable. But just because it's affordable, er, inclusive, doesn't mean that service will fall by the wayside.
Schrager wants Public hotels to be known for their service, something that was often amiss at his other boutique hotels which were staffed by cooler-than-thou aspiring models. He writes:
At PUBLIC service matters most. But the key point of differentiation is in the kind and quality of services it offers. The brand will only offer services that matter, those that guests really want and need rather than an array of superfluous services they do not use.
Ian also says he is “sick of slick" and completely anti-design and anti-flash so the design of Public Chicago is completely pared down although it will be over seen by Ian's longtime design partner, Anda Andrei. Simplicity is what Public wants so the rooms will be decked out in "no color colors" (um, black and white?) and desks will face either the window or the interior of the room to create a better working environment. And best of all, there's free WiFi.
Downstairs, the lobby will be comprised of two chat rooms--The Living Room and The Library with intimate seating areas, communal work tables and computer stations. The Library will also feature a coffee bar with Stumptown Coffee during the day (hello Ace!) and a full bar with "plated exotic food" by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
The Library will also have its own screening room where Ian plans to put on private screenings, video installations, poetry readings and other original performances (Rose Bar Sessions, redux?) The hotel's famed Pump Room will also be getting a makeover, featuring "reasonably priced" food from Chef JGV. The menu will be inspired by his ABC Kitchen in New York but tailored for Chicagoans. At night, the restaurant will turn into a supper club reminiscent of the 30s and 40s glamour but of course, as always, naturally, obviously, with a modern twist.
One final offering for guests comes in the form of Public Express, located at the front desk which will allow guests to customize their mini-bars as well as pick up some snacks and toiletry items 24 hours a day.
The whole concept of Public, if you couldn't already tell, is to do a complete 180 from the hotels that Schrager has created before. In his mind, luxury today is now about "getting the best value and being made to feel special." Hey, we're down with that.
But before you think that Ian has gotten all sorts of soft in his old(er) age, he's still aiming to be the It Hotel brand, saying, "We are trying not to be hip, we are in fact anti-hip, and therefore by definition, we are.” Well, if you say so, Ian....
We've still got a ways until October when Public Chicago opens to the um, public, but there is a website up at publichotels.com/chicago featuring black and white photographs of the celebs who used to stay at Ambassador East. Even better, the site is actually saying previews will start September 12.
There are no room photos but A standard king is going for $215 a night. (We've got a room shot below.) DONE.
MORE PUBLIC FUN. We mined the adjective-heavy press release for some more ways to describe Public. Here's what we found:
· "A new breed of hotel"
· "A new chic"
· "A sincere chic"
· "A really personal, authentic, confident style"
· "Confident, self-assured, genuine and grounded, with no tricks or gimmicks"
· "Effortless, timeless, purist design"
· "The hotel reflects an aesthetic that cannot be classified because it is so personal"
· "A rebirth of a Chicago institution"
· "It may well represent the revitalization of the hotel concept itself and another worldwide wakeup call for the entire industry."
IS PUBLIC HOT OR NOT? Tell us what you think of Schrager's new affordable, er, inclusive hotel brand in comments below.